Su Friedrich has produced and directed fourteen 16mm films and videos, including Seeing Red (2006), The Head of a Pin (2004), The Odds of Recovery (2002), Hide and Seek (1996), Rules of the Road (1993), First Comes Love (1991), Sink or Swim (1990), Damned If You Don't (1987), The Ties That Bind (1984), Gently Down the Stream (1981), and Cool Hands, Warm Heart (1979). With the exception of Hide and Seek, Friedrich is the writer, director, cinematographer, sound recordist and editor of all her films.
Friedrich's films have won many awards, including BEST NARRATIVE FILM AWARD at the Athens International Film Festival, OUTSTANDING DOCUMENTARY FEATURE at Outfest '97 in Los Angeles, SPECIAL JURY AWARD at the New York Gay & Lesbian Film Festival, GRAND PRIX at the Melbourne Film Festival, the GOLDEN GATE AWARD at the San Francisco Film Festival, BEST EXPERIMENTAL NARRATIVE AWARD at the Atlanta Film Festival.
Her work is widely screened in the United States, Canada and Europe and has been the subject of retrospectives at the Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Rotterdam International Film Festival, The Stadtkino in Vienna, the Pacific Cinematheque in Vancouver, the National Film Theater in London, the New York Gay and Lesbian Film Festival, the Wellington Film Festival in New Zealand, and the Anthology Film Archives in New York.
Friedrich is the recipient of the Alpert Award in the Arts (1996), an Independent Television Service production grant (1994), an NEA Fellowship (1994), a Rockefeller Foundation Fellowship (1990), a Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship (1989), a DAAD grant as artist-in-residence in Berlin (1984), as well as multiple grants from the New York State Council on the Arts, the New York Foundation for the Arts and the Jerome Foundation
Her work is in the collection of the Museum of Modern Art, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Royal Film Archive of Belgium, the Centre Pompidou in Paris, the National Library of Australia, as well as many university libraries. The films are distributed by The Museum of Modern Art, Women Make Movies, Canyon Cinema, Canadian Filmmaker's Distribution Center in Toronto, the London Filmmaker's Coop, and others.
The films have been reviewed in numerous publications, including Premiere, The Village Voice, Artforum, The New York Times, Variety, The Nation, Film Quarterly, The Millennium Film Journal, Sight and Sound, Flash Art, Cineaste, The Independent, Heresies Art Journal, Afterimage, and The L.A. Weekly. Essays on her work, as well as excerpts from her scripts, have appeared in numerous books, including Collecting Visible Evidence (1999), Experimental Ethnography (1999), The New American Cinema (1998), Play It Again, Sam (1998), Film Fatales (1998), Cinematernity (1996), Screen Writings (1994), Women's Films (1994), Queer Looks (1993), Avant-Garde Film: Motion Studies (1993), Vampires and Violets (1992), and Critical Cinema: Volume Two (1992).